Friday, May 27, 2016

May Budget

The month in which I buy two tote bags. Ah well, at least I'm predictable... I picked the BP bag up at the very beginning of the month and basically haven't stopped using and admiring it since then.  And the straw tote is making all of my farmer/hippy/bohemian chic girl dreams come true. Also, I am truly excellent at justifying the purchase of more tote bags. It is one of my best things.

The Nordstrom half-yearly sale just started (lots of discounts, plus 6 percent cash back from ebates!), so I picked up a few pieces from there, including shoes I'll probably wear all summer and a shell that (fingers crossed!) will be super versatile.

Soludos Espadrilles $42
Target Tank $5
Halogen Shell $16 (on crazy sale!)
Straw Tote $35
BP Scalloped Tote $50

Total - $148
Quarterly Budget - $500 - $135 - $148 = $217 left for June!

Linking up with Franish

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review // Breath Becomes Air, Hillz, Lucy Barton, Pretty Girls, Girl at War

It's been two months since my last book post, and I'm mortified to have only read 12 books.  Which probably seems like a lot of books, but I've been known to blow through that many in 2 weeks. I've been seriously slacking, mostly due to a lack of general time, partly due to prioritizing random television shows over books. Oh well.  One of the huge plus sides to summer for me is that I have loads more time on my hand, which shall be put, at least partially, to book purposes.

When Breath Becomes Air // I'm pretty sure everyone has already read this book, but if you haven't, get on it.  It's a book written by a now dead man, so it's not like people were going to tear it apart, but even with the kindness blanket wrapped around it, it's a beautiful book. Kalanithi writes honestly and openly about a lot of things we as a society avoid and does an amazing job. The prose are incredible, and the whole thing will only take you a few hours.

Deleted E-Mails of Hilary Clinton // And now for something completely different. This book took me 45 minutes to read, and while it's not quality literature, it's a heck of a lot of fun.  My favorite emails were the ones between her and her friends (Beyonceeeeeee).  It's light and sweet and worth the 12 seconds.

My Name is Lucy Barton // This book was not written for 23 year olds. It's beautifully written, and the story is enjoyable, but I think it would be much more impactful for older women, especially those who are already mothers.  Plot-wise, there's not much going on, but the characters and the relationships between them are complex.  Elizabeth Strout is incredible at conveying a lot with only about 6 words, which deepens the impact even further.

Pretty Girls // I made the mistake of listening to this book, which increased the creep factor.  I would further advise you not to listen to the ending in your car, in a random parking lot, at night, when it's raining.  Not my best idea.  Pretty Girls is a Gone Girl-esque murder mystery with more plot twists and turns than propositions. If you're into books like that, it's awesome. Several of the big reveals were total surprises and the ending was satisfying. If you don't like books to remind you how much depravity there is in the world, steer clear.

Girl at War // Good lord, this book is beautiful. It's not an easy read (wars suck, FYI) but it's just gorgeous.  I stayed up until midnight because I couldn't put it down.  The last time I did that, it was for the last Harry Potter book.  The story follows a Croatian girl before, during and after the Yugoslavian civil war.  She goes through a lot (duh), but the author is incredible about making her both a victim and the victor - she's relatable but also what I want to be when I grow up. Read it immediately.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Quinoa Salad

I feel a little bad about this salad.  It's pretty much allllllllllll the most hipster foods in the world - quinoa, kale, no sugar.  I am making myself feel better by eating more of it because, um hi, it's incredible.  Nutritionally, the last few weeks have been a bit of a disaster, and this salad is pretty much my dream right now.  It's phenomenal, you should eat it.

 Ingredients //

1.5 cups raw quinoa (3 ish cups cooked)
4 cups raw kale
3 small sweet potatoes
1 small red onion
2 oranges
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon ginger
Red pepper
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package

Chop the sweet potato into small pieces and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until it's edible.  Add red pepper to taste (I used about a tablespoon)

Add the maple syrup, toss to coat, then add the kale and cook for another 5 minutes

Add the saucepan stuff to the quinoa, then mix in the chopped red onion

Once you're ready to eat, make the vinaigrette - squeeze the orange juice out of the fruit, then add about 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh ginger*

*Don't add the vinaigrette until you're eating - the components keep beautifully if they're seperate